« ForrigeFortsett »
suppresses the two
The extent of the new walls, erected by Aurelian, and finished in the reign of Probus, was magnified by popular estimation to near fifty, 42 but is reduced by accurate measurement to about twenty-one miles.438 It was a great but a melancholy labour, since the defence of the capital betrayed the decline of the monarchy. The Romans of a more prosperous age, who trusted to the arms of the legions the safety of the frontier camps, 44 were very far from entertaining a suspicion that it would ever become necessary to fortify the seat of empire against the inroads of the barbarians.45
The victory of Claudius over the Goths, and the success of Aurelian against the Alemanni, had already restored to the arms Aurelian of Rome their ancient superiority over the barbarous nations suppresses of the North. To chastise domestic tyrants, and to reunite usurpers. the dismembered parts of the empire, was a task reserved for the second of those warlike emperors. Though he was acknowledged by the senate and people, the frontiers of Italy, Africa, Illyricum, and Thrace, confined the limits of his reign. Gaul, Spain, and Britain, Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor, were still possessed by two rebels, who alone, out of so numerous a list, had hitherto escaped the dangers of their situation ; and to complete the ignominy of Rome, these rival thrones had been usurped by women.
A rapid succession of monarchs had arisen and fallen in the provinces of Gaul. The rigid virtues of Posthumus served Succession only to hasten his destruction. After suppressing a com- in Gaur."
42 Hist. August. p. 222. (Vopisc. Aurel. c. 39.] Both Lipsius and Isaac Vossius have eagerly embraced this measure.
43 See Nardini, Roma Antica, 1. i. c. 8. 44 Tacit. Hist. iv. 23.
45 For Aurelian's walls, see Vopiscus in Hist. August. p. 216, 222. [Aurel. c. 21 and 39.] Zosimus, 1. i. [c. 49) p. 43. Eutropius, ix. 15 . Aurel. Victor in Aurelian. Victor Junior in Aurelian. Euseb. Hieronym. et Idatius in Chronic.
a Neither of these numbers can be ambitus teneant.” It has been ingeniadmitted. The walls which surround ously conjectured by Becker that in this the modern city of Rome are, with the passage we ought to understand pedum, exception of the part beyond the Tiber, not passuum, after the millia, which would essentially the same as those of Aurelian give ten Roman miles for the circuit, a meaThe latter were restored by Honorius, as surement very near the truth. The meawe learn from an inscription on the walls surement of twenty-one miles rests upon now extant; and the walls of Honorius the authority of Olympiodorus, who says are universally allowed to be those which that the walls of Honorius, as measured by we see at present. Now these walls the geometer Ammon, just before the measure between twelve and thirteen siege of the city by Alaric, were twentymiles, and, excluding the additions by one miles in circumference (Olympiod. the Popes, between eleven and twelve. ap. Photium, Bibl. 80, p. 63, ed. Bekker). Not only must we therefore reject the Here it is proposed to read ió (11) instead incredible number of fifty miles, but even of xe (21), but this arbitrary alteration of the less startling number of twenty-one numbers is always unsatisfactory. See The former of these two numbers rests on Becker, de Romæ veteris Muris, p. 109, the authority of Vopiscus, who says, seq.; Bunbury on the Topography of " Muros urbis Romæ sic ampliavit, ut Rome, in the Classicum Museum, vol. iii. quinquaginta prope millia murorum ejus p. 367.-S.
REIGN AND DEFEAT OF TETRICUS.
petitor who had assumed the purple at Mentz, he refused to gratify
his troops with the plunder of the rebellious city; and, in WP.2022209the seventh year of his reign, became the victim of their disappointed avarice. 16 The death of Victorinus, his friend and associate, was occasioned by a less worthy cause. The shining accomplishments 47 of that prince were stained by a licentious passion, which he indulged in acts of violence, with too little regard to the laws of society, or A.D. 267.
even to those of love.48 He was slain at Cologne, by a * conspiracy of jealous husbands, whose revenge would have appeared more justifiable, had they spared the innocence of his son. After the murder of so many valiant princes, it is somewhat remarkable, that a female for a long time controlled the fierce legions of Gaul, and still more singular that she was the mother of the unfortunate Victorinus. The arts and treasures of Victoria enabled her successively to place Marius and Tetricus on the throne, and to reign with a manly vigour under the name of those dependent emperors. Money of copper, of silver, and of gold, was coined in her name; she assumed the titles of Augusta and Mother of the Camps : her power ended only with her life ; but her life was perhaps shortened by the ingratitude of Tetricus.49 When, at the instigation of his ambitious patroness, Tetricus
assumed the ensigns of royalty, he was governor of the and defeat peaceful province of Aquitaine, an employment suited to
his character and education. He reigned four or five years over Gaul, Spain, and Britain, the slave and sovereign of a licentious army, whom he dreaded, and by whom he was despised. The valour and fortune of Aurelian at length opened the prospect of a deliverance.
11. He ventured to disclose his melancholy situation, and conSummer. jured the emperor to hasten to the relief of his unhappy rival. Had this secret correspondence reached the ears of the
The reign and defeat of Tetricus.
46 His competitor was Lollianus," or Ælianus, if, indeed, these names mean the same person. See Tillemont, tom. iii. p. 1177.
47 The character of this prince by Julius Aterianus (ap. Hist. August. p. 187 [Pollio, xxx. Tyranni, c. 5]) is worth transcribing, as it seems fair and impartial. Victorino, qui post Junium Posthumium Gallias rexit, neminem existimo præferendum; non in virtute Trajanum; non Antoninum in clementia: non in gravitate Nervam: non in gubernando ærario Vespasianum; non in censura totius vitæ ac severitate militari Pertinacem vel Severum. Sed omnia hæc libido et cupiditas voluptatis mulierariæ sic perdidit, ut nemo audeat virtutes ejus in literas mittere quem constat omnium judicio meruisse puniri.
48 He ravished the wife of Attitianus, an actuary, or army agent. Hist. August. p. 186. [Pollio, 1. c.] Aurel. Victor in Aurelian.
49 Pollio assigns her an article among the thirty tyrants. Hist. August. p. 200. [xxx. Tyranni, c. 30.]
" The medals which bear the name of name of Lælianus, which appears to have Lollianus are considered forgeries, except been that of the competitor of Posthumus. one in the museum of the Prince of Wal. Eckhel, Doct. Num. t. vii. p. 449,--G. deck: there are many extant bearing the
soldiers, it would most probably have cost Tetricus his life; nor could he resign the sceptre of the West without committing an act of treason against himself. He affected the appearances of a civil war, led his forces into the field against Aurelian, posted them in the most disadvantageous manner, betrayed his own counsels to the enemy, and with a few chosen friends deserted in the beginning of the action. The rebel legions, though disordered and dismayed by the unexpected treachery of their chief, defended themselves with desperate valour, till they were cut in pieces almost to a man, in this bloody and memorable battle, which was fought near Châlons in Champagne. 50 The retreat of the irregular auxiliaries, Franks and Batavians,51 whom the conqueror soon compelled or persuaded to repass the Rhine, restored the general tranquillity, and the power of Aurelian was acknowledged from the wall of Antoninus to the Columns of Hercules.
As early as the reign of Claudius, the city of Autun, alone and unassisted, had ventured to declare against the legions of Gaul. After a siege of seven months they stormed and plundered that unfortunate city, already wasted by famine.52 Lyons, on the contrary, had resisted with obstinate disaffection the arms of Aurelian. We read of the punishment of Lyons, 53 but there is not any mention of the rewards of Autun. Such, indeed, is the policy of civil war : severely to remember injuries, and to forget the most important services. Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
Aurelian had no sooner secured the person and provinces of Tetricus than he turned his arms against Zenobia, the A.D. 272. celebrated queen of Palmyra and the East. Modern Zenobia ; Europe has produced several illustrious women who have sustained with glory the weight of empire ; nor is our own age destitute of such distinguished characters. But if we except the doubtful achievements of Semiramis, Zenobia is perhaps the only female whose superior genius broke through the servile indolence imposed on her sex by the climate and manners of Asia.54 She claimed her descent
50 Pollio in Hist. August. p. 196. [xxx. Tyranni, c. 23.) Vopiscus in Hist. August. p. 220. [Aurel. c. 32.] The two Victors, in the lives of Gallienus and Aurelian. Eutrop. ix. 13 [c. 9]. Euseb. in Chron. Of all these writers, only the two last (but with strong probability) place the fall of Tetricus before that of Zenobia. M. de Boze (in the Academy of Inscriptions, tom. xxx.) does not wish, and Tillemont (tom. iii. p. 1189) does not dare, to follow them. I have been fairer than the one, and bolder than the other. [Clinton places the fall of Tetricus after that of Zenobia, in 274.-S.]
51 Victor Junior in Aurelian. Eumenius mentions Batavicæ ; some critics, without any reason, would fain alter the word to Bagaudica.
32 Eumen. in Vet. Panegyr. iv. 8.
53 Vopiscus in Hist. August. p. 246 [in Proculo, c. 13). Autun was not restored till the reign of Diocletian. See Eumenius de restaurandis scholis.
54 Almost everything that is said of the manners of Odenathus and Zenobia is taken from their Lives in the Augustan History, by Trebellius Pollio: see p. 192, 198. [xxx, Tyranni, c. 14 and 29.]
CHARACTER AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ZENOBLA.
lovely as well a
in She was of
a lady these
from the Macedonian kings of Egypt,* equalled in beauty her ancestor Cleopatra, and far surpassed that princess in chastitys5 and valour. her beauty Zenobia was esteemed the most lovely as well as the most ing; heroic of her sex. She was of a dark complexion (for in speaking of a lady these trifles become important). Her teeth were of a pearly whiteness, and her large black eyes sparkled with uncommon fire, tempered by the most attractive sweetness. Her voice was strong and harmonious. Her manly understanding was strengthened and adorned by study. She was not ignorant of the Latin tongue, but possessed in equal perfection the Greek, the Syriac, and the Egyptian languages. She had drawn up for her own use an epitome of oriental history, and familiarly compared the beauties of Homer and Plato under the tuition of the sublime Longinus. This accomplished woman gave her hand to Odenathus,b who,
from a private station, raised himself to the dominion of hodte the East. She soon became the friend and companion of a hero. In the intervals of war Odenathus passionately delighted in the exercise of hunting; he pursued with ardour the wild beasts of the desert, lions, panthers, and bears; and the ardour of Zenobia in that dangerous amusement was not inferior to his own. She had inured her constitution to fatigue, disdained the use of a covered carriage, generally appeared on horseback in a military habit, and sometimes marched several miles on foot at the head of the troops. The success of Odenathus was in a great measure ascribed to her incomparable prudence and fortitude. Their splendid victories over the Great King, whom they twice pursued as far as the gates of Ctesiphon, laid the foundations of their united fame and power. The armies which they commanded, and the provinces which they had saved, acknowledged not any other sovereigns than their invincible chiefs. The senate and people of Rome revered a stranger who had avenged their captive emperor, and even the insensible son of Valerian accepted Odenathus for his legitimate colleague. After a successful expedition against the Gothic plunderers of Asia,
the Palmyrenian prince returned to the city of Emesa in her husband's Syria. Invincible in war, he was there cut off by domestic
treason, and his favourite amusement of hunting was the cause, or at least the occasion, of his death.56 His nephew, Mæonius,
55 She never admitted her husband's embraces but for the sake of posterity. If her hopes were baffled, in the ensuing month she reiterated the experiment.
68 Hist. August. p. 192, 193. [Pollio, xxx. Tyranni,c. 14.] Zosimus, 1. i. (c. 39]p.
a According to some Christian writers of a noble family in Palmyra; and, accordZenobia was a Jewess. (Jost, Geschichte ing to Procopius (Bell. Pers. 1. ii. c. 5), he der Israel, iv. p. 166. Hist. of Jews, iii. was prince of the Saracens who inhabit p. 175.)-M.
the banks of the Euphrates. Eckhel, 6 According to Zosimus, Odenathus was Doct. Num. vii. p. 489.-G.
punciates, assas Flerod, the so soft and eed only the passume the
over the East and
presumed to dart his javelin before that of his uncle; and, though admonished of his error, repeated the same insolence. As a monarch, and as a sportsman, Odenathus was provoked, took away his horse, a mark of ignominy among the barbarians, and chastised the rash youth by a short confinement. The offence was soon forgot, but the punishment was remembered ; and Mæonius, with a few daring associates, assassinated his uncle in the midst of a great entertainment. Herod, the son of Odenathus, though not of“. Zenobia, a young man of a soft and effeminate temper, 57 was killed with his father. But Mæonius obtained only the pleasure of revenge by this bloody deed. He had scarcely time to assume the title of Augustus before he was sacrificed by Zenobia to the memory of her husband.58
With the assistance of his most faithful friends, she immediately filled the vacant throne, and governed with manly counsels and reigns Palmyra, Syria, and the East, above five years. By the form death of Odenathus, that authority was at an end which the Egypt. senate had granted him only as a personal distinction ; but his martial widow, disdaining both the senate and Gallienus, obliged one of the Roman generals who was sent against her to retreat into Europe, with the loss of his army and his reputation.59 Instead of the little passions which so frequently perplex a female reign, the steady administration of Zenobia was guided by the most judicious maxims of policy. If it was expedient to pardon, she could calm her resentment; if it was necessary to punish, she could impose silence on the voice of pity. Her strict economy was accused of avarice; yet on every proper occasion she appeared magnificent and liberal. The neighbouring states of Arabia, Armenia, and Persia, dreaded her enmity, and solicited her alliance. To the dominions of Odenathus, which extended from the Euphrates to the frontiers of Bithynia, his widow added the inheritance of her ancestors, the populous and fertile kingdom of Egypt.co a The emperor Claudius acknowledged 36. Zonaras. 1. xii. c. 247 p. 633 sed. Paris; p. 600, ed. Bonn). The last is clear and probable, the others confused and inconsistent. The text of Syncellus, if not corrupt, is absolute nonsense.
57 Odenathus and Zenobia often sent him, from the spoils of the enemy, presents of gems and toys, which he received with infinite delight."
ás Some very unjust suspicions have been cast on Zenobia, as if she was accessory to her husband's death.
59 Hist. August. p. 180, 181. [Pollio, Gallieni II. c. 13.)
60 See in Hist. August. p. 198 [Pollio, xxx. Tyranni, c. 29), Aurelian's testimony to her merit; and for the conquest of Egypt, Zosimus, 1. i. [c. 44] p. 39, 40.
a This seems very doubtful: Claudius, reign of Aurelian. The same circumstance during all his reign, is represented as throws great improbability on her conemperor on the medals of Alexandria, quests in Galatia. Perhaps Zenobia adwhich are very numerous. If Zenobia ministered Egypt in the name of Claudius, possessed any power in Egypt, it could and, emboldened by the death of that only have been at the beginning of the prince, subjected it to her own power.-G.